This is the second in a series.
I’ve been exploring and striving to keep Sunday as a more intentional day of rest, for faith and family for my entire adult life.
Many people have asked how Dave and I raised three busy and involved sons while maintaining a focus on faith. I will in transparency be sure you are aware that I have worked 38 years of my life as a youth minister or Faith Formation Director. I will also tell you I am a nurse by first education and have always maintained working part-time these years. I was very busy and balance and family were vital to our lives. We were determined to raise ourselves and our sons with a strong sense of faith and life, of service and joy, of others as well as of self.
I have used a paper planner for most of my life. I am a person who needs and appreciates writing down and planning how to balance all that life has for my life. When we were raising our sons, I created a color-coded system for our schedules.
Our kitchen had a large 4-by-6 foot white board that held our schedules. From the time of our eldest son’s early years, each member of our home had their color assigned to them. Our family board was filled with a week at a time, with big events noted at the top. Each Sunday night the board would be updated for the following week. As our sons grew, so did the use of the board. There were years when our son’s events would be circled in a color of their sibling. This circle of color signified a connection, a responsibility for transportation. We were organized, we had connections. As much as this may seem extreme, it kept us connected and balanced. Each week we would be certain to balance our time with faith-centered, parish-centered time.
As a family we would talk through our weeks at “family meetings.” We would schedule service, faith activities and Mass. We were able to physically recognize the balance we had planned as well as how we needed to adjust. I believe this “Family Board” as it was called helped us to develop and be aware of the following:
1. We had a focus. We had a plan of how our time was going to be spent.
2. We planned for our family to be together. We were certain that our schedules reflected our desire to grow as a close family.
3. We ensured there was fun to balance our work and school. When you see the hours visually, you see your time clearly.
4. We scheduled church, religion classes, youth group and parish events. We made these a priority and gave them the value of our time before all the other things that consumed our time.
5. We worked as a team and modeled to our sons how to balance life, how to prioritize and how to negotiate.
I encourage you to consider reflecting on your life through the lens of a schedule. It has served us well to visually plan and see how our lives hold balance. It can be very helpful to see how we are spend our time versus how we believe we spend our time and have our values are woven into our life. I believe using a schedule has served me well, helped us to serve God well…I hope it serves you, too!
Believe n love,